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Queering the Archives

By Angelika Brewer - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Jun 16, 2022

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“Queering the Archives” was created by Sarah Langston, head of Special Collections for Weber and Davis counties, as a way to document stories, photos and memories of those who align with the LGBTQ+ community to ensure they are preserved and become a part of history.

When looking at their collections, the lack of any information about the queer community in the area became apparent. When the project first began there were “more people who were excited to share their stories than the staff had time to collect” Langsdon says. “I went about raising funds to be able to hire interns to work with us in collecting the oral histories.”

Her son, Sammy Langston, curated a project called “I Matter” which started as part of his capstone project at NUAMES High School to show LGBTQ+ identifying youth that “they matter and are important to other people.” “I Matter” is an exhibit of photographs, artwork and written word by LGBTQ+ youth in Weber and Davis counties.

The Langstons hope that “When people are able to put a face to those that are different, they may see them in a new light.”

Together, these projects will be part of a kickoff event in the Wattis Dumke Room at Union Station on June 24 from 4-7 p.m. The event will include information about the projects and how the community can get involved. There will be crafts, face painting and a drag show that will begin at 5 p.m.. Light refreshments will be served.

The Myra Powell Art Gallery at Union Station will also be featuring an exhibit titled “Rainbow Letters” which includes responses from people about what it is like being a member of the LGBTQ+ community in Northern Utah.

The projects have been graciously funded by Project Rainbow Utah, Utah Humanities Council and WSU Office of Diversity.

For more information, visit weberqueerarchives.org and Imatterutah.org.


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